Today I headed out for another road ride. I love spending time riding my bike on the country roads. I'm meaning to bring a camera along, but today the forecast was calling for rain, so I didn't think it was the best day to risk it. (I did manage to go out and back with no rain. It still hasn't rained.) For now, you'll just have to take my word for it that it is spectacular scenery with rolling hills and mountains in the distance.
Anyways, the point of this post is to discuss the oft heard saying: "it's just like riding a bike". This phrase is usually used to describe something that people haven't done lately, but expect it to come back easily.
Having been riding my road bike outside for a couple weeks now, I have to say, riding a bike is not quite as simple as it once was.
First, there's clipless pedals. In case you missed my post a couple weeks ago, suffice it to say that clipless pedals aren't really that simple.
Then there's taking your hands off the handlebars. Why would you want to take your hands off the handlebars? Oh, I don't know... maybe to drink some water or wipe your nose on your sleeve (yeah, I'm classy like that). While I've long been able to do this on my hybrid bike, it's much trickier on an ultra responsive road bike. Today I actually managed to drink my water while riding, and let me tell you, it was no simple thing.
Then there's the whole speed thing. I admit to being a giant chicken, but I am still working on staying off the brakes on the downhills. Today I reached my fastest speed yet of 42 km/h (26mi/h). That was coasting down a hill. My bike is currently much faster then I'm able to ride it. I ride in a hilly area too, so there are some serious opportunities to go fast, and I'm going to have to really let go of inhibitions to take advantage of it.
There's the gearing, which I'm finally getting a hang of. Previously, I had to think about my shifting every single time - and I still messed it up sometimes. Nothing like going up a hill and trying to shift to make it easier, just to make it harder. Or going down and shifting and all of the sudden spinning without resistance.
Suffice it to say, that while it is one of my favourite things to do, riding a bike isn't easy. And riding a standard two wheeler at the age of 10 certainly doesn't equip you to take off on a modern road bike.